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GOLF GADGET REVIEW! – The Bender Stik

Post image for GOLF GADGET REVIEW! – The Bender Stik

(CONTEST HAS ENDED) – And the winner is (Matt Mangold)…Congrats!  You will be receiving an email shortly.

Introduction

(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) Can one training aid fix swing faults from the takeaway all the way to the follow through? That’s what “2009′s Golf Instructor of the Year” Mike Bender claims about his training aid, The Bender Stik. Will it work for you? Find out here, spies…

Ease of Use/Set Up

Setting up the Bender Stik is quite simple. If you’re outdoors, attach the spike to the bottom of the pole and stick it in the ground. If you’re indoors, attach the pole to the base. Alternately, you can put the Bender Stik in your golf bag, a method that will work indoors or out. Positioning the Bender Stik perfectly for a specific drill can take a few moments, but I never spent more than a minute getting it just right.

Knowing how to set the Bender Stik for specific drills or faults is another matter, but I’ll address that under Effectiveness. As far as set-up, the Bender Stik is easy to use.

Score: 10/10

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Effectiveness

The Bender Stik is unquestionably one of the most versatile training aids that I’ve ever reviewed for MyGolfSpy. Here’s a small sampling of the swing flaws that can be addressed with the Bender Stik: flipping, swaying, sliding, losing posture, over-swinging, chicken winging, and I could go on, but you get the picture. It’s hard to think of a swing problem that you can’t fix with the Bender Stik, and, in a world of one-trick-pony training aids, that’s a huge plus.

There’s also no arguing with The Bender Stik: either you hit it or you don’t. This kind of indisputable feedback is key. What good is a training aid if you don’t believe or trust the feedback it’s giving you?

So the Bender Stik is extremely versatile, but can too much versatility be a bad thing? This is my one concern regarding this training aid. Though the Bender Stik does come with a very good DVD, I’m not sure how the beginner would know which of the drills to work on. The one thing I think might be helpful is a chart or booklet that connects ball flight to swing flaws to drills. For example, the chart might say, “If you slice, it is likely that your club travels on an out-to-in swing path. To fix that, try this drill ______.” Even better would be for golfers to take lessons and have the Bender Stik reinforce them during practice, but I know that’s just crazy talk. J

Overall, I think the Bender Stik is a very effective training aid because it is versatile and gives excellent feedback. The only caveat is that you need to know what you want to fix before you set out to use it.

Score: 28/30

EDIT:

Shortly after posting the review, I was contacted by one of the gentlemen at Bender Stik. He informed me that they had recognized the missing “diagnosis” piece, and had shot a 30 minute video with Mike Bender to address that. It is currently on the website and available to those who purchase the Bender Stik. I just got through watching it, and I think that it’s very good. I particularly like that he emphasizes the sequential nature of changing the swing (i.e. you can’t just jump ahead and fix impact if your set-up is bad).
Since this was my only criticism of the Bender Stik, and it is no longer truly valid, I have updated the review score.

Score: 30/30


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Longevity

One major plus for the Bender Stik’s longevity is that it can be used indoors and outdoors, so it’s something that you can work with during the winter or when you simply don’t have time to get to the range. Additionally, transporting the Bender Stik is easy because it fits right in your golf bag.

On the downside, the Bender Stik is average in the “fun” department and cannot be used inconspicuously. While I don’t mind having other people watching me on the range, I know that some people will be deterred from using it because others will stare

All in all, because it does provide very effective feedback, the Bender Stik gets a strong grade from me for Longevity.

Score: 18/20


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Value

The Bender Stik can be purchased through the Bender Stik website for $99. Since the price of this training aid is average, the Value grade ends up being a reflection of the Effectiveness and Longevity. Since both those scores were above average, I would rate the Bender Stik to be an above average value.

Score: 18/20


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The Peanut Gallery

The Bender Stik was a definite point of curiosity among everyone who passed by, making this Peanut Gallery a very large one. Overall, The Peanut Gallery was very impressed with The Bender Stik’s versatility. Virtually everyone in The Peanut Gallery added their own, “Oh, you could use it for ______.” There was a split over “Likelihood of Purchase” that was very easy to see: the more casual players were lukewarm about owning a Bender Stik, but the serious players and the ones who take lessons were much more interested.

Score: 17/20

Final Thoughts

For any player who is serious about getting more out of their practice sessions, I think the Bender Stik is a good investment because it provides you with indisputable feedback. As stated above, you need to know what flaws you want to fix before you set out to use it, but that’s really the only negative mark against The Bender Stik. Overall, The Bender Stik is a training aid that you will never outgrow and one that can be used to help any golfer.

Score: 93/100

CONTEST!

One (Bender Stik) will be given away to a MGS reader. To enter, simply go to www.BenderStik.com and look at some of the drills you can do with The Bender Stik. Then, come back to this article and let us know what swing flaw you would use the Bender Stik to cure. The winner will be selected on February 29th.

Review Summary

A
93.00

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Hutchens February 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

I think that I could use the binder stick on all four faults:
1) chickenwing
2) Head
3) Take Away
4) sway

I do all of them at one time or another as real hack should.

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Peter Ciambrone February 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

I would use it to help with head movement, my biggest flaw.
Looks like a simple effective training aid

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John Young February 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

I think the bender stick would help me in learning the correct way to overcome the over the top swing path. This is probably the number one problem of most of us amateurs. Thanks for the opportunity to win one….

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D. Kanyer February 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

Take your pick, keeping my head still, sliding of the hips on the takeaway or maintaining posture.

Very simple but seems very effective.

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gil davis February 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

This would help me keeping my hands on plane in the takeaway and also to avoid swaying as opposed to a good turn back and thru the ball.

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Pete Trivanovich February 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

Swaying on my backswing; Casting/over the top move with shoulders

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Matt M February 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

After looking at the website, I started thinking about a bunch of ways to use this. I have a problem where I stand up too soon on my downswing. My shoulders tend to level out on the down swing, and my head falls back causing thin shots. I need to keep my shoulders steeper in the downswing and maintain my inclination to the ball into impact. To do that, I would put the Bender stick behind me at address so that it is touching my butt. Then I would swing, making sure that I still feel it there down through impact. This would provide instant feedback, because if I come up out of my “spine angle” I would know it immediately. I think a lot of golfers have this problem, and it is hard to know whether or not you are fixing this problem without feedback. I see the Bender stick as a great way to get that feedback.

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Art C February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

Position at the top–swing path. However, there are indoor drills that you can do that will reinforce that result. But for someone that needs tactile response on the range, its one of the better products I’ve seen in 50+ years of playing.

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Bill Miller February 16, 2012 at 10:33 am

I tend to take the club too far inside on the backswing and consequently come over the top. When I use a facsimile of the Bender Stick along with a pylon along the toe line I not only correct this but I hit the ball great.
I watched Mike early in the New Year give lessons one day and he did something similar with fantastic results.

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basicbob February 16, 2012 at 10:57 am

Would use it for swinging too far left and forward head movement. 70 year old 6 hdcp.

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JGolf February 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

I would use the product to indicate and hopefully reduce hip sway in both the takeaway and follow through.

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Michael Doherty February 16, 2012 at 11:40 am

Great device to help me with the chicken wing issue that shows up occasionally in my game. Also excellent to help with a flatter swing rather than coming more over the top which also creeps into my swing motion when I really try to go long.

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JKinSanJose February 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

Bought one! Looks like a great confirmation/feedback tool for my limited practice schedule. My dad is a big over the top Chicken-winger – when I’m not there to point it out. Now that I live 3000 miles away from him, the Bender Stick could replace my eye and aid for him. It could really help him to fold his arms up properly as as Mike explains.
Great job again MyGolfSpy – thanks for the review – looking forward to getting mine real soon.
JK

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Joe February 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I’ve been playing golf for 10 years, but it’s just in the past year or two that I got serious about improving my game by trying to correct flaws in my swing. I’ve had a nasty habit of swaying my hips back on my backswing for a long time. I’ve tried to fix it, but it’s nearly impossible to tell if I’m correcting my issue without having someone watch. I’d love to have one of these with me at the range, so I can finally track my progress.

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Robert Busse February 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I would use The Bender Stick for these three major problems that I have: 1. Develope a consistant inside out swing path.
2. Weight shift from right to left during swing.
3. Proper clubhead take away, along target line.
I have other consistancy problems which The Bender Stick would help with that after I cure the above problems. I could work on these other problems without searching out and purchasing another swing trainer!

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Kyle February 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Could definitely use it to help keep my head still and in place throughout my swing.

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Jayn Russell February 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I would use the Bender Stick to cure an over the top move.

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Rich February 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I work a lot on swing plane and could see myself using the Bender Stik for working on the backswing and downswing. Over time I’m sure I’d end up using it on a variety of swing drills.

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Dan Levy February 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm

The Bender Stik looks very useful. Due to a lack of practice and infrequent play, my biggest problem is inconsistency. I get a lot of things right but I do a different thing wrong on every hole. …. a great drive followed by a poor iron shot, or a bad drive followed by remarkable shots to save bogey, hit the green in regulation but lip out and three putt… you get the idea.

Head-movement & Hip sway:
“Play it forward” is the new push in golf but I regularly tip it out with friends playing 7300yds. Its too long but I do it anyway. Lots of forced carries off the tee. This makes me want to kill the ball which causes me to move my head all over the place and sway a lot. The Bender Stik could be huge for me in these areas. Power and distance don’t come from swinging hard; they come from swinging efficiently and properly. The Bender Stik could help get me on the right path.

Takeaway & Downswing, Chicken wing:
Funny how all the components of the swing are connected. Its starts with a proper grip and set up. A good takeway is critical and then the downswing, gotta get it all right! Then the swing does not stop at impact! Follow through and finish!

The Bender Stik looks like a complete training tool! I sure would want to practice more if I had one of these. It would definitely make practicing more effective and worthwhile!

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Kip February 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

chickenwing and moving my head

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Jacob February 16, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I would use it to develop general consistency in different areas that I wouldn’t normally get feedback in.

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Neil G February 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I am told that my setup is pretty solid, so my problems all start when I start moving. I fight a chickenwing constantly, as well as a tendency to swing hard if I’m not careful. Having a training aid that I can dial in to focus on different habits as they crop up would be valuable to me.

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Greg February 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm

My fault is that i sway too much on the downswing. The Bender Stik would help me identify this fault and have me post up like a pro!. Stop the sway = more consistency = lower scores = more FUN!

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Tony February 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I was never taught the correct fundamentals from the start. I have hit countless numbers of range balls, but was forming the wrong swing habits. The Bender Stik would give me the feedback that you cant get on the range by yourself. It would help me in every aspect of my swing. Every drill I saw in the video would improve my game. I love the fact that you could use it indoors,as well as on the range.

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Ed February 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

This would really help me with my head movement. I tend to look up before impact, leading to a lot of thinned shots.

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bart February 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

The big problem I am having right now is the takeaway and downswing. I am having issues with my takeaway and downswing. Once I fix that I am sure I will develop another unwanted hitch, and I will use the benderstik to fix it.

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Ping45 February 18, 2012 at 1:17 am

One area would be body sway…which causes me untold grief.

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Drew February 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Its a shame that the contest is taking away from any real discussion of pluses and minuses of the product. Very clever though…just look at all of the sheeple comments.

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RP Jacobs II February 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Drew, thank you!!..maybe after the contest we can have a worthwhile discussion…I believe that Mart’s comment about who would truly use/benefit from the Bender Stik is very accurate…With the right golfer, very nice aid…Greens & Fairway’s 4ever…

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Mike Trautman February 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

Hip sway and over the top move big time
thanks

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brian m. February 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm

All of you that believe head movement is a flaw are incorrect. Dig deep and do some research on this — Hogan, Nelson, and Nicklaus all have some head movement throughout the swing. This is not a swing flaw. However, mid-section sway is a major flaw if it’s excessive — like mine.
I’d love to try this training device to help me work on that. Thanks.

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Chuck February 29, 2012 at 5:00 am

I fight a chicken wing, and hip slide as 2 that stick out. I think the Bender Stick would be beneficial in using at the range to help eliminate this 2 flaws!!! I wouldnt be afraid of taking it to the range and working on areas I need to improve on!!!!

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Mike S March 10, 2012 at 8:14 am

I live in the far North where our playing season is four months in a good year. It is difficult to attract a pro to our 9 hole course and there are no opportunities for supervised indoor practice.
Every season it seems almost like starting as a beginner all over again. Being able to train with the Bender Stick throughout the Winter would be of great benefit to myself and my Wife, especially as it seems to work equally well for southpaws.

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R. P. Jacobs II March 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

Mike. although I have absolutely nothing to do with MGS or the contest, you would get my vote for the Bender Stik…The dedication is admirable…The best this season….Fairways & Greens 4ever…..

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Jeff January 25, 2014 at 9:21 am

I take lessons and have two problems that I see on video. The head moving forward and a little over the top on the downswing. Both these are related. Im a 8.6 handicap and if I had one of these I could work on these problem by myself between lessons withput my teacher holding on to my head !!

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